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Full Disk Encryption

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Full Disk Encryption or Whole Disk Encryption is a phrase that was coined by Seagate to describe their encrypting hard drive. Under such a system, the entire contents of a hard drive are encrypted. This is different from Full Volume Encryption where only certain partitions are encrypted.

Some examples of full disk encryption:

Hardware Solutions

Embedded into internal HDD

Hitachi Bulk Data Encryption ("BDE")$file/bulk_encryption_white_paper.pdf
  • FIPS 197 (Federal Information Processing Standard 197 certification issued by NIST)
  • AES-128
Seagate Full Disk Encryption ("FDE")
Seagate's encrypted drives are only available as OEM products. Seagate provides no software to utilize encrypted drive features (such as key management). There is a proprietary Windows-only API, but it is not available to the public.
  • FIPS 140-2 (Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 certification issued by NIST)
Toshiba Self-Encrypting Drives ("SED")
  • AES-256 (certification issued by NIST)

Supplemental Hardware / External Chassis

Addonics product lines
Apricorn product lines
Eracom Technology DiskProtect
iStorage DiskCrypt Mobile
Network Appliance (Decru) (Decru white paper)

Software Solutions

BitArmor DataControl
FDE tool that protects fixed and removable media.
Part of Windows Vista that uses AES 128 or 256 bit encryption
Cryptographic Device Driver. Provides transparent full disk encryption for NetBSD.
Supports various ciphers: AES (128 bit blocksize and accepts 128, 192 or 256 bit keys), Blowfish (64 bit blocksize and accepts 128 bit keys) and 3DES (uses a 64 bit blocksize and accepts 192 bit keys (only 168 bits are actually used for encryption).
Checkpoint Full Disk Encryption
Transparent file system and swap encryption for Linux using the Linux 2.6 device mapper. Supports various ciphers and Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS).
Transparent on the fly encryption for MS Windows and Windows Mobile PDAs. Also supports mounting Linux dm-crypt and LUKS volumes
GEOM Based Disk Encryption. Provides transparent full disk and swap encryption for FreeBSD. Supported ciphers: AES (128 bit).
Supports hidden volumes and Pre-Boot Authentification.
Since data loss can occur on unexpected shutdowns, GELI is recommended instead of GBDE.
Cryptographic GEOM class. Provides transparent full disk encryption for FreeBSD. Supports various ciphers: AES, Blowfish and 3DES.
Supports hidden volumes and Pre-Boot Authentification.
Jetico BestCrypt
Transparent file system and swap encryption for Linux using the loopback device and AES.
Pretty Good Privacy Whole Disk Encryption provides transparent whole disk encryption with Pre-Boot authentification for Windows. Also supports MacOS X 10.4 (non-boot disks only).
Can use OpenPGP RFC 2440 keys and X.509 keys for authentification.
Supports USB Tokens for authentification.
Supported ciphers: AES (256 bit keys).
SafeGuard Easy
Certified according to Common Criteria EAL3 and FIPS 140-2
Encryption algorithms supported: AES (128 and 256 bit) and IDEA (128 bit)
Provides complete hard drive encryption including the boot disk.
SECUDE provides a software and hardware solution for full disk encryption.
Securstar DriveCrypt
Transparent full disk encryption for Linux and Windows. Supports AES (256 bit), Serpent and Twofish.
Supports hidden volumes within TrueCrypt volumes (plausible deniability).
Free solution provided under GNU General Public License.
The -K option of OpenBSD vnconfig(8) associates and encryption key with the svnd device. Supports saltfiles. Supported ciphers: Blowfish.

Exernal Links

Wiki page for FDE on Thinkpads